Nietzsche’s claim that “what does not kill me makes me stronger” has great intuitive appeal, and many of us believe that experiencing hardship and troubles can leave us in a better place than we were before. Psychological scientists have become increasingly interested in studying the positive life changes that people report in the aftermath of highly stressful life events including (but by no means limited to) diagnosis with terminal illness, bereavement, and sexual assault. This notion has been referred to with many different names, but the construct is most commonly referred to by scientists as adversarial growth, posttraumatic growth, stress-related growth,altruism born of suffering and benefit finding.
|My amazing German, Italian, & Spanish friends from my long walk|
on the Camino de Santiago de Compestela
|Letting go on el camino...|
But, it has come in the shape of something I would never have imagined for myself all those years ago now when I was drowning in the empty world of high growth business for profit. It has come in the shape of giving who I am honestly to others against the backdrop of rock climbing. It would be nice to have transport again, a couple thousand in the bank, and more food in the cupboard, but I wouldn't give up chasing the most inspired life I can achieve for myself, so we walk more, spend less and be like Gandhi for a week or two! Swapping coaching for food, piano lessons or just friendship. Happiness.
|Stevie Haston & I doing new routes on Gozo Island|
In my younger years as a climber, I was at war with the world and fed off the danger of what rock climbing brought me, but now as a coach in a sport, I am enjoying this new way of life where I get to give something that is real to others in a world that has so much to give me back. I am becoming a happier person in my little world on the rocks. A happier life with less fear of others, el humano.
When I left the world of business I thought that I wanted to be a teacher. It looked amazing to be so open with people and to teach them about something that had meaning for their lives, but I was too scared, I thought. And so, now I am there teaching what I know in rock climbing to others and watching it change their and my own life for the better. A great way of life in the pursuit of more and more happiness for me and for others. My integrity is everything for me now. Felizidad.